A while ago, my wife and I fed our daughter some cereal for the first time. We had been anticipating this for a little while, and thought it would be a lot of fun. Messy, but fun. So we made some cereal, put my daughter in her Bumpo seat, and went about trying to put a spoon in her mouth.
The first thing we noticed, to our amusement, was that she didn’t really know what to do with a spoon. She just looked at us with a puzzled stare. And when we touched the spoon to her mouth, leaving some of the cereal on her lips, she gave us a disgusted and bewildered look. Finally she tasted some of the cereal on her lips and realized it was pretty good, so she began to open her mouth a bit for the spoon, thus allowing us to slowly feed her. It was incredibly messy, and we were having a ball because my daughter’s face was virtually covered in cereal.
Then she started to do something else that amused us. After we deposited food in her mouth, she would open her mouth and the cereal would all fall out. She had no comprehension of needing to swallow the food. This makes sense when you’ve been eating laying down your whole life and gravity takes it down the back of your throat. But this was quite different, and she hadn’t caught on yet.
Eventually she did, and within a couple of nights she was a much improved cereal eater. Unfortunately, a few nights later she began the habit of taking a spoonful of cereal into her mouth right before looking straight down, thus causing it to fall out of her mouth and into her lap. Again, we still had some learning to do.
Now my daughter is a pretty accomplished cereal eater. In fact, she opens her mouth really wide, spreads her arms, and leans forward so much that sometimes she almost falls on her face. A few nights ago my wife was feeding her and got sidetracked talking to me for a short while. After a pause we looked down and my daughter was leaning forward with her mouth open, almost on the bowl. I don’t know how long she had been doing that, but imagining her sitting there like that for a minute or more was pretty funny.
Who knew watching someone else eat could be so much fun?
Check out these books in our collection that talk about the different stages of eating for little ones:
Feeding Your Child For Lifelong Health: Birth Through Age Six - by Susan B. Roberts & Melvin B. Heyman
Cooking Light First Foods: Baby Steps to a Lifetime of Healthy Eating - by Carolyn Land Williams